Waterstones to put books under 72-hour coronavirus quarantine when stores reopen

Retailer taking precautionary measures to allow books to ‘self heal’

Waterstones stores have been closed since the end of March
Waterstones stores have been closed since the end of March

Waterstones is planning to put books under a 72-hour quarantine when stores reopen, in a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.

The company intends to ask customers to take any book they have touched and place them on trolleys, which will be wheeled away into storage for at least three days before being put back on shelves.

Chief executive of Waterstones, James Daunt, said the bookseller has been advised that the virus cannot survive for long on paper, but in the interest of safety the retailer has decided to quarantine books to give them time to “self heal”, according to a report in The Guardian.

Waterstones is also planning to install perspex screens in front of tills and limit the number of shoppers who can be in the stores at one time.

The retailer’s cafes will also remain closed when shops first reopen.

Waterstones has seen online sales rise more than 300 per cent during the pandemic.

In April, a survey by The Reading Agency found that one in three Brits are reading more since lockdown began.

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